Category Archives: Events

A Day of Printing Arts

Tag der druck kunst, the first national Day of Printing Arts held last March in Germany was a tremendous success and a call has gone out for a European Day of Printing Arts, to be held March 15, 2020. Initiated by the Berlin-based “Bundesverband Bildender Künstler” (the German Artists Association) all graphic artists, along with as museums, galleries and art institutes are being called to participate. The date was selected to celebrate the anniversary of the recognition of printing techniques as intangible heritage by the German Council of Unesco.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if members of the printing community in the United States were to join our colleagues and hold an international day of printing arts? APHA? Grolier? STA? Ladies of Letterpress? CBAA? Guild of Bookworkers? APA?


The Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS) is once again hosting members of the academic and artistic communities of Puerto Rico as visitors at Princeton University in summer 2019. The program continues to provide relief to scholars, students, and artists affected by the catastrophic aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 by allowing them to continue their work at Princeton on a temporary basis.

The VISAPUR program provides a range of support including a stipend to cover living expenses, office space, access to libraries and other scholarly material, and an opportunity to engage with colleagues at Princeton.

Endorsed by the Princeton Task Force on Puerto Rico, PLAS manages the program with co-sponsorship from the Office of the Provost. Additional support has been provided by, the Firestone Library, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Office of the Dean of the Faculty, Office of the Dean of the College, Graduate School, Office of the Registrar, and Housing and Real Estate Services. Special thanks to professor emeritus Arcadio Díaz Quiñones, former PLAS director and professor of Spanish and Portuguese, for his leadership and commitment to the project.

See pictures from last year’s program also:

Among the many treasures pulled to show our visitors was this new acquisition: Luis Lloréns Torres (1876-1944), Valle de Collores; grabados por Consuelo Gotay (Puerto Rico: Gotay, 1991). “Trabajaron en la tipografía, la impresión y la encuadernación, Consuelo Gotay, Rafael Orejuela, and Víctor Rodríguez Gotay.” Copy 44 of 100. Inscribed to Arcadio Díaz Quiñones from the artist. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process


Public Typewriter

Now through July 27, 2019, is the exhibition “New Typographics: Typewriter Art as Print,” featuring Lenka Clayton, Dom Sylvester Houédard, Gustave Morin, Elena del Rivero and Allyson Strafella, at the Print Center, 1614 Latimer Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103:

The exhibition highlights work by artists who use the typewriter as a matrix for forming text into image. Typically referred to as typewriter “art” or typewriter “drawings,” this exhibition posits that artworks created with a typewriter should be recognized as prints, in light of the mechanism and process of their production.

“I use the typewriter against itself. It was built to draft first chapters of novels and resignation letters; I use it to draw my son’s eyelashes and knitted socks . . . . I really enjoy that this process allows me to focus on those very simple forms and moments that are, perhaps, usually overlooked.”–Lenka Clayton

While you are there, you can “Create Your Own Typewriter Print.” The Print Center will host a “Public Typewriter” as part of Philly Typewriter’s “Philadelphia Public Typewriter Program.” Philly Typewriter is a retail typewriter store located in Philadelphia that also repairs typewriters and hosts classes and events. A temporary loan of a manual typewriter prepared for use by typewriter restoration classes at Philly Typewriter will allow visitors to make their own typewriter prints.

On Thursday, May 2, at 6:00 p.m. curator Ksenia Nouril will give a talk on the history of typewriter prints, highlighting key moments and artists that were influential to the thinking around the exhibition.

Concrete poets Dom Sylvester Houédard and Gustave Morin highlight the typewriter print’s immense potential for both visual and linguistic communication. In concrete poetry, the representation of language supersedes its legibility and even meaning. The results are wildly whimsical and fantastically funny renderings that allude to historical and imaginary people, places, and things.

Houédard, whom Morin calls “The Great Typewriter Poet,” was a Benedictine priest in post-World War II England. His typewritten visual poems, which he named “typestracts,” were developed together with leading conceptual writers and artists of the period, including but not limited to William S. Burroughs, Bob Cobbing, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Allen Ginsberg and Yoko Ono.–Press release

Dom Sylvester Houédard

Photo Book Show

Only one more day left to attend The Photography Show at Pier 94. The longest-running and foremost exhibition dedicated to the photographic medium, the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) has mounted the 39th edition of the show featuring nearly 100 of the world’s leading fine art photography galleries.

Each year the photobook portion of the show has grown larger and more international, including the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, Mexico, the Middle East, and South America. Book dealers, publishers, and photography-related organizations include:

10×10 Photobooks, New York
21st Editions, South Dennis, MA
AKIO NAGASAWA Gallery | Publishing, Tokyo
American Photography Archives Group, APAG, New York
Aperture Foundation, New York
Artbook | D.A.P., New York
Benrido, Kyoto
Brilliant Graphics, Exton, PA
Candor Arts, Chicago, IL
Citizen Editions, Brooklyn, NY
Conveyor Editions, Jersey City, NJ

DAMIANI, Bologna, Italy
Daylight Books, Durham, NC
Dust Collective, Stow, MA
GOST Books, London
Harper’s Books, East Hampton, NY
KOMIYAMA TOKYO, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
KGP – Kris Graves Projects, Long Island City, NY
L’Artiere, Bologna, Italy
Light Work, Syracuse, NY
MACK, London
Minor Matters Books, Seattle, WA
Nazraeli Press, Paso Robles, CA
photo-eye, Santa Fe, NM
Photograph Magazine, New York
Saint Lucy Books, Baltimore, MD
SUPER LABO, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan
Steidl Publishers, Göttingen, Germany
TBW Books, Oakland, CA
The Classic, Arnaville, France
TIS Books, Brooklyn, NY
Yoffy Press, Atlanta, GA
Zatara Press, Richmond, VA

International Kerouac Poetry Festival

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), The History of Bop. Introduction by Mark McMurray (Montclair, NJ; Canton, NY : Caliban Press, 1993). One of 200 copies. Graphic Arts Collection 2004-3446N

In conjunction with the 4th annual International Kerouac Festival in New York City, we pulled Kerouac’s biography of Bop. Originally published in Escapade magazine in April 1959 as “The Beginning of Bop,” Kerouac’s text was also included on the Verve record album Readings by Jack Kerouac on the Beat Generation (1960). Over 30 years went by before Mark McMurray printed a limited edition at his Caliban Press.


“Bop began with Jazz,” writes Kerouac, “but one afternoon somewhere on a sidewalk maybe 1939, 1940, Dizzy Gillespie or Charlie Parker or [Thelonious] Monk was walking down past a men’s clothing store on 42nd Street, or South Main in L.A. and from the loudspeaker they suddenly heard a wild impossible mistake in jazz that could only have been heard inside their own imaginary head. and that is a new art. Bop.

The Kerouac Festival began in Vigo, Spain, seven years ago and only recently opened a satellite event in New York City during the first week in April. Performances, readings, and discussions in English and in Spanish are being held in various locations throughout the city.

Poets at the Festival will include Wöyza, Marina Oroza, Ana Vidal, Alberto Avendaño, Bob Holman, Rocío Cerón, Abraham Chavelas, Jani Rose, Keila Vall, Chris Campanioni, Francisco Álvarez Koki, E.A. Pulgar, Kathryn Strobel, Vanesa Álvarez, Courtney Surmanek, Mariana Sofía Lima, Rachel Kara Pérez, Salomé Egas, Anthony Mcperson, Lisa Markuson, José Lameiras, Celia Parra, and Marcos De La Fuente.

Tag der Druckkunst

Congratulations to our colleagues in Germany for the enormous success of their first “Tag der Druckkunst“ (National Day of Printing Arts) on March 15, 2019. Scheduled to coincide with the anniversary of the inclusion of artistic printing techniques in the nationwide directory of the Intangible Cultural Heritage by the German UNESCO Commission, the day included more than 250 events held nationwide.

Their website notes, “Artists, print shops, museums, galleries, art societies and many others contributed to the preservation and development of artistic printing techniques with a multitude of activities and to draw attention to the importance of printing for culture in Germany.”

This follows on the success of a smaller event in 2018:

Germany’s national celebration is not unlike the Fête de l’estampe held each year in France on May 26 in honor of the recognition engravers received from Louis XIV:

Perhaps some year the United States will follow their lead.

Swarthmore College’s Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary project

Visitors to the Book and Ephemera Fair in New York City today were treated to a preview of Swarthmore College’s Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary project, supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

The two-year project brings renowned book artists into conversation with Syrian and Iraqi individuals who have resettled to Philadelphia. Driven by questions about displacement and refuge, history and experience, the project explores art’s capacity to build empathy and create a deeper sense of belonging.

Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary culminates in a series of exhibitions beginning this month at McCabe Library, Swarthmore College; three locations in Philadelphia throughout the summer;  and Brooklyn, New York City in the fall. Included will be artists books by Islam Aly, Maureen Cummins, Erik Ruin, Courtney Bowles and Mark Strandquist that weave archival research of refugee and migrant experiences with contemporary Syrian and Iraqi narratives.

Their works will be exhibited alongside works by Syrian and Iraqi project collaborators that were produced throughout a series of workshops led by the artists, as well as archival materials related to displacement from Swarthmore College’s Friends Historical Library and Peace Collection.

افتتاح معرض الأصدقاء والسلام والملاذ والعشاء المحلي

Join them at the exhibition opening and a Friends, Peace, & Sanctuary communal dinner on Friday March 29, 2019 beginning at 4:00 p.m.

٢٩ مارس ٢٠١٩
٤ إلى ٨ مساء
كلية سوارثمور: مكتبة مكايب و قاعة كلوثير
نرحب بكم في احتفال ختام مشروع الأصدقاء، السلام، والملاذ الآمن الذي امتد على عامين و ايضا ندعوكم في المشاركة في عشاء اجتماعي لكي تصبحوا جزءا من المحادثة في مشروع الأصدقاء، السلام، والملاذ الآمن.
تفضلوا معنا في احتفال ختم مشروع الاصدقاء، السلام والملاذ الآمن و افتتاح معرض الأول للفنانين إسلام علي، مورين كومينز، إيريك روين، كورتني بولز و مارك ستراندكويست، الذين تضمنوا أبحاث المحفوظات عن تجارب اللاجئين والمهاجرين مع التجارب السورية والعراقية المعاصرة لإعادة التوطين في فيلادلفيا. وسيتم عرض أعمالهم جنباً إلى جنب مع الأعمال التي يقوم بها متعاونون من المشاريع السورية والعراقية التي تم إنتاجها خلال سلسلة من ورش العمل التي يقودها الفنانون، بالإضافة إلى مواد أرشيفية متعلقة بالنزوح من مكتبة أصدقاء كلية سوارثمور التاريخية ومجموعة السلام.
بعد تجربة المعرض، اجتمع مع جميع المتعاونين والفنانين وأعضاء فريق المشروع الذين جعلوا هذا المشروع ممكنا في عشاء يقدمه مطبخ “أريا”. توقع الطعام اللذيذ وحفز المحادثة بينما نواصل بناء المجتمع معًا.

The initial exhibition will be up through April 24, 2019, at McCabe Library at Swarthmore College. A complete list of books and those for sale will be available soon.

Contemporary Subscription Libraries

One of the last remaining subscription libraries in New York City, along with the Library of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen (GSMT) and the New York Society Library, is the Center for Fiction (formerly known as the Mercantile Library). Memberships for the GSMT Library begin at $50; for the Society Library $270; and for the new Center for Fiction $150.

The Center’s new home at 15 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, is now open to the public on the first floor and to members on the upper floors.

For members, the Center for Fiction’s library includes a circulating collection of 70,000+ classic and contemporary fiction titles. Approximately 3,000 books from its antiquarian book collection are currently on display on the ground floor, clearly marked “do not touch”. Their website notes:

“The 19th Century collection is comprised of volumes from both the Mercantile Library’s own collection and volumes donated to the Center by the Philadelphia Athenaeum. Contained in this collection are works by well-known authors, hand-pressed books from the 18th and early 19th centuries, and books with especially attractive designs and bindings.”

The Mercantile Association has had many homes in Manhattan, beginning with rented rooms in 1821 at 49 Fulton Street in lower Manhattan and ending with its 1932 building at 17 East 47th Street in midtown.

In 2005, with the advent of a new director, the Library moved to strengthen its new focus on fiction by renaming itself the Mercantile Library Center for Fiction.

In February 2019, the Center opened a 18,000 square foot space across from the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The first floor offers a bookshop, cafe, and a 160-seat state-of-the-art auditorium. The second floor has a reading room and terrace; classroom space for discussion groups, seminars, and writing workshops; and a new Writers’ Studio with floor to ceiling windows.

15 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217

February weather

Only one hearty bicycler made it to the library during today’s snow storm but the orange key tours of the campus seem to be filled. You might be better off trying the virtual tour from the warmth of your home:

The Betsey Stockton Garden behind the library

Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century


Coming up on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, is the third Gillett G. Griffin Memorial Lecture delivered by Dr. Nazera Wright titled “Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century.” The lecture will begin at 4:30 in McCormick Hall 101, followed by a reception in the McCormick lobby. Copies of Dr. Wright’s book will be available for purchase during the reception thanks to our friends at Labyrinth Books. This event is free and open to the public.